Originally Posted by apecallum
No I actually had the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries in mind when I asked the question, particularly so the drubbings Austria received at the hands of the French and Prussians.
Napoleon himself said it best when replying to an Austrian diplomat's demands "Your empire is like an old maid servant, accustomed to being raped by everyone".
Eh, it was always a ramshackle edifice politically, but the only times I recall it being utterly trounced before the middle of the 19th century were by the Prussians and the French (who also shattered
the Prussians), and they recovered to the point where they were able to join the offensive and gain a place at the peace talks by the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
Besides, up until then, they'd been warring with the Turks, and doing pretty damned well for themselves, for centuries.